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Are There Any REAL Detective Games?

l337CrappyJackl337CrappyJack Registered User
edited December 2007 in Games and Technology
Before it comes up, yes, I've played Hotel Dusk already. I've been interested in the idea of a game that gets in depth into the details of detective work; things like staking out, tailing suspects, honest to goodness investigation, that sort of thing. But unless there's some sort of Veronica Mars or Fletch game, I'm at a loss for ideas. Any recommendations from you fine, cultured gamers at Penny Arcade?

l337CrappyJack on
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Posts

  • TaramoorTaramoor Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    No fancy screenshots but Deja Vu.

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Phoenix Wright does most of that.

  • HoukHouk Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    PikaPuff wrote: »
    Phoenix Wright does most of that.
    Which is odd, considering he's a lawyer.

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  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Anyways, what the OP wants isn't a real detective game. He wants a real hollywood / pulp novella detective game. Real detective work involves lots of shitting around making unproductive phonecalls, waiting, more waiting, some coffee, some more calls, etc.

    I actually think Carmen Sandiago was a brilliant answer to this as that is closer than probably anything else to real detective work. Get strange bits of evidence that leads to someone who probably did it...maybe. Less railroading in those games though.

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  • l337CrappyJackl337CrappyJack Registered User
    edited December 2007
    I've played Phoenix Wright, too. I've played TONS of adventure games where you solve a mystery of some sort. I'm looking for ones that have you actively participate in the investigation. Phoenix Wright, great as it is, is pretty lateral, same with Carmen Sandiego; I'm looking for something that's a little more in-depth in terms of the actual investigation. That being said, Deja Vu sounds pretty good, as does Suspect. Anything more along those lines?

    Xeno's got a point. I'm just seeing if there's much out there that breaks the usual adventure game formula of "Go to crime scene, pick up evidence" being the height of the mystery solving.

  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited December 2007
    I think you mean linear.

  • DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User
    edited December 2007
    I haven't played it myself, but maybe one of the CSI games? They're by Telltale Games, who make the new Sam and Max games, so they should be of at least some quality.

    http://www.telltalegames.com/store/csi

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  • FirmSkaterFirmSkater Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I want to play a game where you can convict the wrong guy and he gets the death penalty and you find out years later and just feel awful about it.

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  • UltimanecatUltimanecat Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    No fancy screenshots but Deja Vu.

    I was going to say this too. But, now that I think about it, it's really just an adventure game in which you play as a detective. Which isn't bad at all.

    Many adventure games from the early to mid 90's played the detective motif pretty well. If you can find them, I'd suggest the aforementioned Deja Vu, Snatcher [good luck finding it], Rise of the Dragon, and Blade Runner.

    Obviously, those last three have the whole cyberpunk / blade runner vibe, but honestly, what is Blade Runner but a detective noir movie set in the future?

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  • emericanaemericana Registered User
    edited December 2007
    FirmSkater wrote: »
    I want to play a game where you can convict the wrong guy and he gets the death penalty and you find out years later and just feel awful about it.

    Perfect ending to the Harvey Birdman game?

  • NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action Still AwesomeRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    You want modern day noir?

    How about Noir (the game) and the Tex Murphy games (Mean Streets, Martian Memorandum, Under a Killing Moon, Pandora Directive, Overseer (which is a remake/retelling of Mean Streets))?

  • TehSpectreTehSpectre Ragamuffin Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Condemned: Crimimal Origins had some "CSI-type" moments, by use of black light, finger prints, photographs.

    Also, it is scary and wonderful.

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  • BTPBTP Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    It's probably very bare-bones compared to what you're looking for, but there's an old DOS game called "Sleuth" where you're in a house where one of the people there was just murdered. There are 7 people in the house and one of them is dead, killed by one of the remaining six. You have to figure out who killed the victim, what was the murder weapon, and in what room. You do this by questioning everyone and examining each room. Take too long, and the murderer will eventually kill you as well.

    Gameplay is pretty much a text adventure (e.g. "You are in the lounge. There is a telephone next to the couch. Looking out the window, you see it is still raining very hard." You could type "search telephone" and get "The telephone line has been cut!") However, there's a layout of the house and tiny faces representing characters and their location.

    Best thing about it is that you can add in the names of the people in the house. You'll have tons of laughs as you read each person's alibi at how close or ridiculously opposite they are to their real-life counterparts.

    Each game can be played in a few minutes, once you get to know how quickly you can hit the arrow keys to move in the house and know what objects are pointless to search.

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  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited December 2007
    FirmSkater wrote: »
    I want to play a game where you can convict the wrong guy and he gets the death penalty and you find out years later and just feel awful about it.

    Why? He'd almost certainly still be alive.

  • QorzmQorzm Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Not sure what the game is about for sure, but I saw this amazingly well marketed game called "Evidence".

    It was sealed in a loose-ish bag and had writing all over it and it just looked awesome. Pretty much exactly how a bag of evidence would look. Could be decent.

    Edit: For PC

  • FirmSkaterFirmSkater Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Aroduc wrote: »
    FirmSkater wrote: »
    I want to play a game where you can convict the wrong guy and he gets the death penalty and you find out years later and just feel awful about it.

    Why? He'd almost certainly still be alive.

    Wow. Don't be a tool dude it was a joke.

    sig2.jpg
  • brynstarbrynstar Registered User
    edited December 2007
    DeathPrawn wrote: »
    I haven't played it myself, but maybe one of the CSI games? They're by Telltale Games, who make the new Sam and Max games, so they should be of at least some quality.

    http://www.telltalegames.com/store/csi

    These are surprisingly high quality, which I guess shouldn't really be surprising to be since I love the new Sam and Max games. Still, they're a little more like the old PC point and click adventures than what the OP is looking for I think.

    Still, worth checking them out if you're a fan of the classic adventure games. Lots of dialogue trees, hunting for items, that sort of thing. Pretty good stuff really.

    EDIT: Qorzm, I believe there's a sequel to that out now as well. Those always looked really neat, but I've never checked them out.

    Heck, I picked up the 360 CSI somewhat on a whim for easy points and ended up really liking it. Love finding those random cool games you never expected to be cool. I need to go back and finish it but the fall schedule overwhelmed me...

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  • SaddlerSaddler Registered User
    edited December 2007
    If you like Deja Vu there's also the recent indy computer game Fedora Spade:
    http://studioeres.com/games/fedora


    Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective is an FMV game with a lot of investigation in it: mostly interviewing people and trying to pick up clues. I won't provide a site for this one but any good sleuth should be able to find a copy.

  • Forever ZefiroForever Zefiro Frame Runner Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    FirmSkater wrote: »
    Aroduc wrote: »
    FirmSkater wrote: »
    I want to play a game where you can convict the wrong guy and he gets the death penalty and you find out years later and just feel awful about it.

    Why? He'd almost certainly still be alive.

    Wow. Don't be a tool dude it was a joke.

    I think his joke was that if you get the death penalty you don't get put to death until like 50 years later

    Because the US has a shitty slow law system

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  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Wasn't there also a Sherlock Holmes game that was a more conventional adventure game?

  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited December 2007
    jothki wrote: »
    Wasn't there also a Sherlock Holmes game that was a more conventional adventure game?

    Yep, there's a whole line of Sherlock Holmes adventure games actually:

    The Mistery of the Mummie
    The Silver Earing
    The Awakend
    Sherlock vs Arsene Lupin

    Haven't played any of those games though, but from what I heard they should be pretty close to what the OP is looking for. Click here for more detailed informations.

    Also, there's a video games series of famous Agatha Christie novels for the PC, maybe they worth a look?

    And Then There Were None
    The Murder in the Orient Express
    Evil under the Sun (in developement)

  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive Damn these electric sex pants! Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If you can still get hold of it (Europe-only release), and have a passing knowledge of Discworld, then Discworld Noir might be for you.
    Discworld_Noir_cover.jpg

    You play a private investigator, and most of the game involves talking to people, writing down the salient points, then asking other people about those points, and so on. There are some Use [item] With [thing] puzzles, but it's more Interrogate [person] about [something somebody else said].

    Going waaay back, if you can find it and it works on a modern platform, what about Cruise for a Corpse?
    973884559-00.jpg

    I played it back when I was a wee nipper and got confused and stuck, which probably means that it was a decently tricky murder mystery for anybody of a more suitable age.

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  • MarlorMarlor Registered User
    edited December 2007
    How about some PC adventure game goodness... the Tex Murphy series:

    Mean Streets

    Martian Memorandum

    Under a Killing Moon
    Under_a_Killing_Moon_FrontBox.jpg

    The Pandora Directive
    PandoraDirective.jpg

    Tex Murphy: Overseer
    TexMurphyOverseer.jpg

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  • JohnDoeJohnDoe Registered User
    edited December 2007
    +1 for Discworld Noir

  • PatboyXPatboyX Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    JohnDoe wrote: »
    +1 for Discworld Noir

    I only played it for a little bit. And it was super-buggy. Where would you even find this game anymore?

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  • Duchess ProzacDuchess Prozac Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I've not actually played it, but isn't the Bladerunner game pretty much a detective game?

  • RohanRohan Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The greatest detective game is still -

    detective_game.jpg

    detective_game_03.gif

    Probably a bit too old for his tastes, though.

    ...and I thought of how all those people died, and what a good death that is. That nobody can blame you for it, because everyone else died along with you, and it is the fault of none, save those who did the killing.

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  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive Damn these electric sex pants! Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    PatboyX wrote: »
    JohnDoe wrote: »
    +1 for Discworld Noir

    I only played it for a little bit. And it was super-buggy. Where would you even find this game anymore?

    Amazon.co.uk has some, for Windows 95, 98 and ME, plus the Playstation version. Amazon.com has one used.

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  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I've not actually played it, but isn't the Bladerunner game pretty much a detective game?
    That's what I was going to suggest. And Very much so. Non linear too.

    Man, I need to play that game again.

  • RohanRohan Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    -SPI- wrote: »
    I've not actually played it, but isn't the Bladerunner game pretty much a detective game?
    That's what I was going to suggest. And Very much so. Non linear too.

    Man, I need to play that game again.

    Blade Runner! What an awesome game. Back when everyone was running 3GB hard drives, it came with a massive 1.5GB install... but it was so worth it. I wish I still had my copy :/

    ...and I thought of how all those people died, and what a good death that is. That nobody can blame you for it, because everyone else died along with you, and it is the fault of none, save those who did the killing.

    Nothing's forgotten, nothing is ever forgotten
  • XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    JohnDoe wrote: »
    +1 for Discworld Noir

    Severely underrated.

  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Don't have enough time to elaborate right now, but Scoop and Covert Action sound like games in the vein you're looking for. Covert Action is more of a spy game than detective, but it still involves the same kind of snooping around and looking for clues. Both are pretty old and hard to find though.

  • NorayNoray Registered User
    edited December 2007
    I think the Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened game had some good detective stuff in it. Still mostly linear, but I doubt you'll be able to find a truly non-linear detective game anywhere.

    edit: Recently read about this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Express) game though, and it sounds totally awesome. Wish I could play it :(

  • RoundBoyRoundBoy Registered User
    edited December 2007
    There was a very recent game (beginning of the year) where you played a detective in various time periods.... the name escapes me. The only trouble is that you have to click on the right pixels to find the 'clue' and they are all very linear.

    Someone help me, the WITWICS post got me remembering a game.. you were an agent sent to stop this evil possessed TV from taking over the world.. everytime someone touched it, he became 'fuzzy' and infected others.. all the missions took place in train stations where you had to watch schedules and buy tickets to travel around.

    You could 'heal' the infected by dropping crystals that multiplied when 2 or more were next to each other. You needed like 100 to defeat the main guy.

    nyone remember this? you needed to track trains and infections back to the source stations to find this monster, and i loved it.. but i can;t remember it!

    EDIT: After a long goolge search... it was my friend:

    AGENT USA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_USA

    this game was AWESOME

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  • InterpreterInterpreter Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Although I never played them, the two Laura Bow games from Sierra On-Line might qualify.

    Also, two of the adventure games I purchased recently(and then promptly tossed them into the big pile of games I have to play at some point) are Still Life, and Culpa Innata. Both involve investigating murders and the like, so they also may be what the OP is looking for(I'll know more if I ever get around to actually playing them).

  • CrazybearCrazybear Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Qorzm wrote: »
    Not sure what the game is about for sure, but I saw this amazingly well marketed game called "Evidence".

    It was sealed in a loose-ish bag and had writing all over it and it just looked awesome. Pretty much exactly how a bag of evidence would look. Could be decent.

    Edit: For PC

    That is actually the sequal to "Missing" and it is called "Evidence: Missing 2".

    I played a bit of the first one but couldn't really get into it due to the fact I have too many games and not enough time to play them.

    The cool thing is that you register your e-mail address (or do as I did and set one up just for the game) and your team actually sends you e-mails about the case your on. You have to investigate, but I don't think you get to interview any suspects, but like I said, I didn't play much of the first one.

    It might be what you are looking for, and pretty cheap too. The second one looks very good and the evidence bag adds a really nice touch.

    I might have to pick it up now that I think of it.

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  • runwiledrunwiled Registered User
    edited December 2007
    I have fond memories of the Police Quest games. They were pretty awesome.

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  • SmudgeSmudge Registered User
    edited December 2007
    I could never get the Tex Murphy Games working, at least not UAKM back when I had it. I think I lost it in my last move, but my copy really hated windows and would not work for me on dosbox either. It would look like it was starting but just hang on blackness.

    Too darn bad, because I played the demo to that game back when it was new, loved it to death, but was too busy at the time and then never got back to picking it up.

    The Sherlock Holmes: The awakened suffered from some really awkward interface issues. I found the game to be a chore many times and never bothered finishing it. I stopped when he went to new orleans. If you are willing to put up with some of the worst first person controls I have ever seen, then it might be worth your time. Visually the game was just ODD. Some parts looked really nice and other parts looked like they were textured in the 80's.

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